Spectators have been warned to stand well back as Britain’s first ever blind darts team takes to the oche.
Made up of three visually impaired players and one who is completely blind, The Optimists have played their first friendly match in preparation for a charity tournament in Cornwall.
Each player will attach a piece of string to the bullseye to guide them to the board – they will then grab it with their spare hand and throw their dart with the other.
After decorating the wall of their local with a few extra holes, the players claim they now miss the board only once with every three darts.
Captain Richard Pryor, 68, who has been blind for 40 years, said: “The landlord mentioned that the Rotary Club had organised for pubs to take part in a fast darts competition.
“He asked if we wanted to put in a blind darts team. After three pints I am up for anything and we said ‘yes’.
“No-one has been injured yet, although there has been quite a bit of damage to the door and around the board.
“Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. I have been blind for nearly 40 years and I have a superb time, I wouldn’t swap it for anything.
“However, on the night people might want to stand back a little bit as I don’t think we get any points for hitting the spectators.”
Richard formed the team with pals Rachael Beresford, 39, Carol Pirret, 53, and Sharon Waters, 46, at The Dolphin Inn, in Grampound, Cornwall.
They will take on 14 sighted rivals in a frantic contest to score the most points in 90 minutes.
Rachael, a DJ and former hospice volunteer, is completely blind due to glaucoma and diabetes.
She said: “I used to play for fun and its great to give it another go.
“I didn’t think I would be able to do it but so far I’m getting most of them on the board.”
Donna Fryer, 41, landlady of the Dolphin Inn, said: “I think it’s great they are entering the competition.
“They support us so often, by coming in here for their meetings. It’s great to be able to support them back by letting them play in the competition here.
“There’s been a few holes in the walls, but that doesn’t matter – it all adds to the character of the pub.”